The Next Big Thing Already Happened

The next big thing is never a repeat of last big thing. It’s always something new and different. It’s an original, not a copy.


What if the next Facebook already happened, and it was Twitter? What if the next Netflix already happened, and it was YouTube.

I see this a lot in business plans: businesses out to become “the next this” or “the next that.” Among the recent ones to cross my desk were “the Netflix of books” and “Facebook for business.” Yawn. Boring. Unrealistic. Copies are so unoriginal.

A tag line referring to some existing big thing (“Netflix for books“) rarely works.

(Image: Stephen Gibson/Shutterstock)


  • Pawel Przywozny says:

    Google didn’t move forward to be a spin-off of Yahoo. It wanted to be another (better) Yahoo.

    Being a different version of a concept is not exactly the same as improving something that you can clearly see has a huge user group.

    Starting a competing service to Netflix is different than starting Netflix for Books (a library that ships)

  • Strategic Growth Advisors says:

    Hey, Tim. This is one rocking post! I guess being “labeled” as the next big thing can’t bed always bad, though. There is no clearer example than Jamie’s input.

  • Tim Berry says:

    Jamie, yes, you’re absolutely right on that. Like every other generalization, there are always exceptions. There are more than just this one too …but I still stick with the general rule.

  • Jamie Forrest says:

    …except that Google was the “next Yahoo,” and that kind of worked for them.

  • Bradford Shimp says:

    I couldn’t agree more! Why would anyone want to be the next this or this year’s that? Not me! Businesses and people should seek to be known for who they are.

    Something new and groundbreaking cannot be defined by anything else that came before it. That’s kinda the point.

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